We all understand the dynamic.
Running for office is fundamentally different than governing.
Politicians say what they must say to get elected.
Once in office, though, they have to accept the consequences of their policies. Brash words need to become sober policy.
Joe Biden ran on a simple platform; He was not Donald Trump.
Trump was a hothead, a novice, a guy that would stumble into a war without knowing what he was doing, Biden implied to the American people.
Joe was the experienced pro who would restore order and sanity.
Regarding Iran, Biden made his position clear.
He and Barack Obama brought us peace and security.
Trump was backing the ayatollahs into a corner and determined to provoke a war.
America and the Mideast were in greater danger, because of Trump’s policies, Biden argued.
The Iranians were more committed now to developing nuclear weapons, because Trump had walked away from the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Now, Trump has left the White House. Biden is in the Oval Office.
It is time for the new administration to shift gears, drop the campaign rhetoric, and put together a policy based in reality.
Biden may spin the facts all he wants.
The truth is the disastrous Iran Nuclear Deal did not make the Mideast more stable or war less likely.
It did not even make any serious inroads into Iran’s nuclear program. Tehran was emboldened and enriched.
It responded to Obama’s capitulation by setting the Mideast on fire.
Trump did not solve the Iran problem. He found no lasting solution.
He did stop the advance of Shia Islam, shove the ayatollahs back into a box and also take major steps toward achieving a true, lasting peace in the Mideast.
Already a number of Arab nations have established formal diplomatic relations with Jerusalem. We may be on the brink of seeing the Saudis follow suit.
We cannot simply roll back all of this progress and pretend it has not occurred.
Speaking for U.S. domestic consumption Biden may still adhere to his position that Trump did not know what he was doing.
Abroad, unless we want catastrophe we cannot act upon the basis of that lie.
None of this means that Biden must simply adopt Trump’s approach to dealing with Iran.
There is nothing that precludes him from beginning talks with Iran about a new nuclear deal. In fact, doing so might well calm a lot of nerves.
What it does mean, though, is that we cannot simply return to negotiating with Iran in the same fashion that we did under Obama.
Negotiation is fundamentally all about leverage.
If we want a deal with Iran that is truly favorable to us and our allies, we need to not only maintain the leverage we currently have but also look for ways to increase it.
There are hopeful signs that the Biden administration understands this.
The United States is exploring expanded access to bases in Saudi Arabia. There is no indication that initiative has been called off.
This suggests that no matter what criticism the Biden team has leveled at the Kingdom, it is not really going to walk away from one of our key alliances in the region.
During his confirmation hearings last week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that America would not be joining the Iranian nuclear deal "anytime soon."
Blinken also said the U.S. would not enter into any accord with Iran without consulting with its allies and would not lift sanctions or unfreeze Iran’s assets to get it to come to the negotiating table.
Blinken also talked explicitly of building on the Abraham Accords — the agreements that Israel has made with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco.
On Monday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat that the U.S. would "closely consult" with Israel on all matters of regional security.
There are also warning signs.
Alarmed by the possibility that Biden may capitulate again to Tehran, the Israelis have made clear their willingness to "go it alone."
Recently, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi announced that he ordered the preparation of plans for unilateral Israeli attacks on Iran’s nuclear sites in the event that proved necessary to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
In his announcement Kochavi specifically requested that the United States not attempt to negotiate another nuclear deal with Tehran.
"With the changing of the administration in the United States, the Iranians have said they want to return to the previous agreement. I want to state my position — the position that I give to all my colleagues when I meet them around the world: Returning to the 2015 nuclear agreement or even to an agreement that is similar but with a few improvements is a bad thing, and it is not the right thing to do," he said.
Perhaps most disturbing of all, there are reports that the Biden administration has already begun secret talks with the Iranians regarding a new deal.
Since many members of Biden’s national security team were involved in the talks that led to the deal signed under Obama one cannot help but take such rumors seriously.
These are the people who gave away the farm to the ayatollahs once before. It would be foolish to think they were incapable of doing so again.
Secret deals with Iran, planeloads of cash and another surrender to radical Islam cannot be the way ahead.
If the Biden administration wants to enter into another agreement with Tehran, then that accord must be negotiated in the light of day and with the knowledge and support of our allies in the region, principally Israel and Saudi Arabia.
It must also be negotiated from a position of strength, not based on the frantic desire to say we have achieved an agreement but based on the knowledge that the Middle East will be safer as a result.
Biden has secured the presidency.
The political posturing must end. It is time to govern.
It is time for reality to set in.
Charles "Sam" Faddis is a Veteran, retired CIA operations officer, senior partner with Artemis, LLC and published author. With degrees from The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland Law School, he is a contributor to sofrep.com, Newsmax, and The Hill among others. He regularly appears on many networks and radio programs as a national security and counter-terrorism expert. Sam is the author of "Beyond Repair: The Decline And Fall Of The CIA" and "Willful Neglect: The Dangerous Illusion Of Homeland Security." Read Reports by Charles Faddis — More Here.
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